For expectant and birth parents, the term “open adoption” may sound intimidating or confusing. What does an open adoption look like? How does it work? Is it really in the best interest of the child? To make open adoption more understood, we’ve compiled this list of Myths and Facts to help guide you through your adoption journey!
- Myth: If I choose to make an adoption plan for my child, I will never see them again.
FACT: Although open adoption can feel intimidating at first, research has shown it has a multitude of benefits. As a birth parent who chooses to make an open adoption plan, you are able to decide on the level of openness you will have with your child and their adoptive family. The adoptive families who work with Spence-Chapin understand the benefits of open adoption and welcome having that relationship with their children’s birth family.
2. Myth: The relationships between adoptive parents and birth parents deteriorate in time.
FACT: The relationships between adoptive parents, birth parents, and adoptees changes over time. As long as all parties remain committed to communication and are flexible, the relationships formed are life-long and rewarding.
3. Myth: Open adoption is a form of co-parenting.
FACT: In open adoption, the adoptive parents are the ones in control of their child’s wellbeing. The birth parents may play an active role in the child’s life, but the legal rights remain in the hands of the adoptive parents.
4. Myth: Having an open adoption will confuse my child.
FACT: Children are not confused by having contact with their birth family. Even at an early age, children can understand different roles and responsibilities. Further, while all members in an open adoption are shown to benefit from the relationship, it is the adopted child that benefit the most over time. Some of the benefits to adoptees include coming to terms early on with the reasons for their adoption, access to information that aids in identity formation, knowledge about their own medical histories, and a better understanding of the meaning of adoption.
5. Myth: Having contact with the adoptive family will feel intrusive.
FACT: Quite the contrary! Surveys show that families remain in contact with the adoptive family report higher levels of satisfaction with their adoptions.
6. Myth: Being able to communicate with and see my child will be too painful for the me.
FACT: Birth parents in open adoptions with ongoing contact report less grief, regret, and worry, as well as more peace of mind, than those who do not have contact, according to the Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute.
Spence-Chapin encourages open adoption, which is why we are happy to answer any further questions you may have. Spence-Chapin offers individual and family counseling, open adoption support and guidance, and facilitates reunion meetings. Call us and let us know how we can support you and your family – (800) 321-5683.